A World War I Hero: First American Dog to Enter German Territory

I’m a dog lover. I’m a huge dog lover and so is my wife (Marley and Me was a difficult movie to watch). When I came across this front page headline in the Washington Times, I was both saddened and moved.

This poor dog — her name was Sergeant Helen Kaiser — was both brave and dedicated, supporting our troops on the front lines. She was hit by shrapnel and exposed to blinding mustard gas, but thankfully survived.

Helen was deployed with her owner, James White, in the 372nd Infantry Regiment of the 93rd Infantry, an African American division serving alongside the French Army in World War I. Even more impressive is the fact that she was the first dog to enter enemy territory (Officer Sprinkle would be impressed).

Front page of Washington Times on March 10th, 1919
Front page of Washington Times on March 10th, 1919

She lived through the worst of it and returned to live a more peaceful existence in the District with her owner at 1525 Marion St. NW in Shaw.

Let me make a plug here for some of the local shelters and adoption organizations like the Washington Animal Rescue League, Washington Humane Society, and K-9 Lifesavers (where we adopted our dog). Please think about helping them out by adopting, volunteering or donating some money. Do it in remembrance of Sergeant Helen Kaiser.

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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